Shanelle Henry – Dancer, Activist, and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Greens Farms Academy
Shanelle has dedicated much of her career to exploring questions of race and identity within education settings – formal as well as informal – including serving as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Greens Farms Academy in Westport CT.
She works closely with Boards of Trustees, administrators, faculty and students in independent schools to develop strategies, skills and habits for conducting effective DEI work.
Early Life and Education
Shanelle Henry has dedicated her professional life to exploring questions of race, gender and identity as they intersect with oppression and oppression. In particular, she has worked in formal and informal educational environments on issues related to diversity, inclusion and social justice – with numerous presentations made at local and national conferences.
At Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Connecticut she currently serves as Director of Equity and Inclusion where she collaborates closely with students, faculty, administrators and boards of trustees to facilitate and foster meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) discussions.
REEL DIVERSITY is an instructional resource guide written for educators to use when teaching about diversity and social justice, exploring how film reinforces stereotypes and cultural values.
Shanelle is an active presenter at both local and national conferences on education and social justice issues, including her recently published ‘Day After Election Guide (Summer 2020) published by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. Additionally, she has been interviewed numerous publications including NAIS’ Member Voices podcast.
She collaborates closely with students, faculty, parents and Trustees in creating inclusive school environments. She specializes in leading difficult conversations around racism, microaggressions, anti-bias education and culturally responsive teaching as well as other contentious issues that often come up in independent schools.
She enjoys language learning and cultural engagement and has organized many student-led and community events, both locally and internationally. Additionally, she has a deep-seated love for music, dance, and visual art.
Achievement and Honors
Shanelle Henry has demonstrated her dedication to excellence throughout her education and professional experiences, including memberships of Alpha Kappa Delta and Beta Beta Beta honor societies that specialize in academic research. Additionally, she earned departmental honors and placed among the top 10% nationally on her business school’s exit exam.
Greens Farms Academy, an independent school from Westport, Connecticut that caters to pre-K-12 grades, employs Henry as director of diversity and inclusion. She strives to engage students in difficult conversations surrounding privilege, oppression and social justice topics like privilege. Henry’s efforts have been showcased in Reel Diversity; an instructional resource guide featuring films that promote anti-bias education and culturally responsive teaching – she co-authored its revised edition as well as Reel Diversity book.
Shanelle Henry is an American dancer and diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist who works within the independent school sector. Specifically, she serves as Director of Equity & Inclusion at Greens Farms Academy – a pre-K through 12 independent school in Westport CT; additionally she sits on both TEAM Westport’s Diversity Committee as well as their Commission on Diversity (CAIS).
Personal and professional experiences have equipped her for the challenging work of engaging young people and adults in challenging DEI conversations about race, privilege, anti-bias education, culturally responsive teaching methods, microaggressions, implicit and unconscious bias and more. When not at work she enjoys reading cheesy romance novels, exercising and dancing like no one is watching! She currently lives in McLeansville with her supportive spouse and two children.